The leadership teams of the African Union (AU) Commission and the African Development Bank (AfDB), led by Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the President of the AfDB, Akinwumi A. Adesina, respectively, held a high-level consultative meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 12 February 2019. Also in attendance were AU Commissioners and AfDB Vice Presidents, as well as senior staff from both institutions. The meeting took stock of the ongoing collaboration between the two institutions and explored ways to strengthen the partnership in delivering Agenda 2063 and other continental frameworks.
The Principals welcomed the high-level consultative meeting as an opportune moment for in-depth discussions on enhancing the partnership between the AU and the AfDB, especially in the light of the progress made towards the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The meeting acknowledged the strong alignment of the AfDB’s High 5s strategic priorities with the AU Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The meeting noted the progress achieved in taking forward Agenda 2063, including domestication at national level, development of an integrated monitoring & evaluation framework, adoption of a domestic resource mobilization strategy, and the establishment of a working group on resource mobilization involving the AU and the AfDB. The meeting further noted the progress made in the implementation of flagship projects of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan, despite some challenges related to resource mobilization. In this respect, and in order to expedite progress, the need for bankable feasibility studies for some key projects was highlighted.
The meeting reaffirmed the AU and AfDB commitment to enhance support for African countries to implement Agenda 2063 and other continental frameworks, including the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and other related projects, notably renewable energy and digital transformation, the Presidential Infrastructure Champions Initiative (PICI), the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the June 2014 Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT). To this end, the meeting underscored the need to scale up support for domestic resource mobilization by AU Member States and leverage Africa’s strategic partnerships, as well as African pension funds and sovereign wealth. The two institutions also agreed to strengthen their coordination mechanisms and monitoring instruments, working in close partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and AU Member States.
The meeting reaffirmed the role of the Joint Secretariat Support Office (JSSO) comprising the AU Commission, UNECA and the AfDB, as a platform for more effective coordination, collaboration and synergy in furtherance of continental priorities as determined by the AU policy organs and, based on the respective mandates and comparative advantages of the three institutions. In this regard, the AU Commission welcomed the appointment of Mr. Lamin Barrow as the new Director of the JSSO and the Bank’s Permanent Representative to the AU.
a) agreed to institutionalize the annual high-level consultation, with a view to enhancing coordination and speeding up the delivery of Agenda 2063 programmes, based on a clear division of labor and leveraging the comparative advantage of each institution. The collaboration will be concretized with the formulation of a framework document that outlines the specific areas and modalities of cooperation;
b) reiterated the commitment of the AU and the AfDB to accelerate the continent’s economic transformation, including through renewed efforts by the AfDB to assist in mobilizing the necessary resources for the successful implementation of Agenda 2063;
c) recognized the need to continually explore opportunities to accelerate the implementation of jointly prioritized programmes in collaboration with UNECA, RECs and other partners;
d) underscored the need to intensify their joint efforts to encourage a change of mindset among the staff members of both institutions for improved coordination, systematic information sharing and collaboration;
e) resolved to develop, by the end of March 2019, a joint action plan for 2019 that will cover all areas of mutual interest, including resource mobilization, with a focus on key Agenda 2063 flagship projects such as the AfCFTA, the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the Inga Dam project, as well as for other relevant projects in areas such as statistics, education, science, technology and innovation, health and social development, agriculture and food safety, as well as youth and gender to be jointly identified;
f) agreed to work on the implementation of the Inga Dam project, with the AU providing political and other related support and AfDB assisting in the mobilization of the necessary financial resources, including for the transmission infrastructure in the corridor countries, in collaboration with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other beneficiary countries;
g) agreed to collaborate in creating synergies between the AU-led African Economic Platform and the AfDB-led Africa Investment Forum;
h) further agreed to collaborate in mobilizing resources for aircraft leasing and financing in Africa in the context of the SAATM;
i) decided to establish joint thematic and sectoral working groups, using the platform of a revitalized JSSO, with the active involvement of all relevant departments and organizational units, to facilitate coordination, share information, track, and report on, the implementation progress for joint programs and initiatives;
j) pledged to enhance the visibility of the partnership and collaborative efforts of the two institutions through joint advocacy and targeted communication on Agenda 2063 and related continental frameworks;
k) committed to work closely together in 2019 for a successful 15th Replenishment of the African Development Fund and the Seventh General Capital increase for the AfDB, which are critical for financing Agenda 2063 flagship projects and other continental frameworks;
l) agreed that the AfDB would provide technical support with respect to the mid-year coordination meeting between the AU and the RECs. The coordination meeting will also provide a platform for the President of the AfDB to address African leaders on relevant issues;
m) agreed that the Chairperson of AU Commission will be invited to address the AfDB Board of Directors and the annual meetings of the AfDB; and
n) agreed to organize annual retreats of their senior leadership teams to assess results achieved, as well as provide strategic guidance on planning, programming and implementation of priority joint programs.